“National Party Leader Todd Muller’s announcement today that the next National Government will deliver a new four-lane expressway between Cambridge and Piarere is fantastic news for our local community,” says local MP Louise Upston.
“Three years ago I was at the announcement of the project by the then Minister of Transport Hon Simon Bridges and was very excited about the prospects of the new road being built.
“I’ve been advocating for safety and other improvements on that piece of the highway for many years as there are several dangerous intersections involved.
“It was a kick in the guts when the Labour-led Government cancelled the project following its $5 billion cuts to the state highway budget in 2018.
“Today’s announcement is therefore welcome news as our region can only benefit from this new 16-kilometre four-lane motorway that will connect the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway to the intersection of SH1 and SH29.
“That intersection is among the most dangerous roads in the country, according to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and there have been 62 crashes in eight years, resulting in two deaths.
“NZTA says the number of deaths and serious injury crashes on the Cambridge to Piarere corridor is expected to reduce by more than 70 per cent through these improvements.
“As a major regional transport route, it will also bring economic and other benefits to our local communities when completed.
“While I was frustrated and disappointed when the project was canned, I have nevertheless continued to work tirelessly on behalf of and with the community to push for short term improvements while advocating for the road to be built.
“Our ongoing efforts include writing to the Minister, petitions and hosting public meetings, such as the one with Chris Bishop, Spokesperson for Transport in Cambridge.
“After three years of no progress, we need to get on with this extension as soon as possible to ease congestion, save lives, create jobs and stimulate our economy.
“I am looking forward to this road being built for the sake of our local and regional communities and our economy."
Waikato MP, Tim van de Molen agrees that the Cambridge to Piarere extension is a much-needed addition to the Waikato Expressway and the local community will greatly benefit from its completion,
“This project should already have started by now, we have recommitted to it because it is what the Waikato needs and deserves”, says van de Molen.
The project will feature:
- A continuous four-lane state highway (two lanes each way)
- A median barrier separating traffic travelling in opposite directions
- Wide lanes and wide, sealed shoulders
- Mainly grade-separated intersections
- Safe roadsides clear of obstacles and ditches
- High-quality signage
Media contact: Louise Upston 0274767887
Authorised by Louise Upston, 67 Paora Hapi Street, Taupo